I took an extended break from writing several months ago. For years I’ve enjoyed living a relatively carefree life as an award winning humor columnist; it doesn’t pay well but it beats getting a real job. About a year ago life caught up with me and it became increasingly difficult to write something even “almost clever” on a regular basis, so I took a break.
Famous writers take a sabbatical from writing when life happens or take sabbatical from life to write ... low rent hacks like me just take a break. I you have to tell your readers that you took an extended break from writing you’re not famous enough to take a sabbatical; so I took a break.
When I say life caught up with me I mean that the bow wave of consequences for my stubborn refusal to behave like a responsible adult. I won’t bore you with the details but it involved a real job, marital discord, eating asparagus, dental work, relationship counseling, working overtime, a colonoscopy, back surgery and wrecking a borrowed trailer loaded with almost everything we own on a rainy Sunday afternoon in a place called Junction, Texas.
Being stranded in Junction, Texas, will suck the funny right out of you … trust me.
After months of struggling with either a well deserved mid-life crisis or a severe case of adult onset puberty (the jury’s still out on which it was) life has finally settled down a bit and I’m feeling clever again; well … almost clever.
The truth is that I quit reading about the same time I quit writing. I had my nose so deep in my navel that I never took the time to pay attention to the outside world. It’s kind of like I went to sleep in my self-centered world last December and woke up in August in some sort of really bad James Bond movie!
Seriously, after tuning out for a few months, the evening news looks like a really bad Bond movie rip-off. There’s a super villain named Putin (I still giggle when I say his name … Pootin’, that’s funny) who invades semi-European countries and dares the world to react. Like all super villains, he speaks with a Russian accent and is fearless, ruthless and all too often shirtless. It seems he completely misunderstands what riding a horse “bareback” means. Let’s just hope he doesn’t decide to display any “naked aggression” any time soon. Yikes!
If Pootin’ (still cracks me up) isn’t enough of stereotypical bad guy for you, check out ISIS! These guys are straight out of central casting with their hooded black pajamas and matching machine gun equipped pickup trucks. In the 1960s’ sitcom Get Smart, the good guys battle KAOS described as “an international organization of evil.” I’m pretty sure Fox News used those exact words to describe ISIS.
I’m not sure what ISIS stands for, the Irritated Sissies Imitating Sitcoms or International Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or something that makes sense if correctly translated but I don’t really care. They are clearly today’s KAOS and we need a modern day Maxwell Smart to combat their evil before they get to our shores or our continent or … would you believe before they get to our hemisphere? If you’re too young to have watched Get Smart you’re going to have to trust me; that was funny!
In a world with stereotypical super villains, we need an American hero from central casting to step forward to combat the evildoers!
So who is our modern day Maxwell Smart? Who has the smooth good looks of a wannabe James Bond and the Smart’s ability to thwart evil without actually being, well … smart. Come on, you know this one, Rick Perry!
I’m not his agent but you have to admit he’s perfect for the role! He’s the gun slinging Governor of Texas who once shot a coyote while jogging. That’s right, this guy packs heat while working out and have you seen his mug shot? Whoa, that’s one good-looking, well armed Governor/alleged felon!
He could be an American James Bond, or at least a Texan Maxwell Smart!
It’s good to be writing again! This is my first column in months and I’ve already solved a few major world problems. Don’t worry, I won’t take any more breaks any time soon, but if enough people read my column maybe I can take a sabbatical in a year or two … a short sabbatical I promise.
Rick Seley is an award-winning columnist. He may be reached at email@example.com.